I am a daily travel mug user, so I jumped at the chance to review the Flying Tea Gourd, and incidently that has to be the best travel mug name ever. Don't you think? I was trying to figure the name out. I get from the picture on the mug that the gourd part is pretty obvious - it's a gourd/bombilla reference. The flying? Maybe from the fact that it travels. That's all I can come up with. This mug sells for $24.99 (as of today) on Amazon and is free shipping eligible.
Let's just get this out right up front: this is a steel mug, and it has a plastic piece. Neither of those things bother me, but I know some of you are sensitive to that. The product info says that it's all BPA free. Once I started thinking about it, the sipper part is really all that is plastic, and that makes total sense. If it had been made of metal it would burn my lips. Silicon would feel weird. I drink from a steel mug every day and never have any flavor issues with the teas, so nothing sends up warning signs to me here.
There are three parts to the mug: the cylinder, the brew basket (which you don't have to use), and the lid.
The lid has a latch that locks it shut. It can be fully shut and won't leak without the latch, but it's a nice belt-and-suspenders thing if you are tossing your mug into a bag, as I did this morning. In the photos below you can see that in the first photo the ring is up (locked) in the second one it is down (unlocked). then if you press the button the lid springs open to reveal the sipper part. The blue part is spring loaded so it pushes the two knobs against the sip and vent holes, ensuring no spills. I found the white sipping part to be comfortable to drink from.
The mesh on the brew basket is really fine and I can't imagine any leaf getting through it, even if you were brewing something really small.
It snaps snugly into the body of the cylinder. The box says that the mug holds 16 oz of water, and it does. I measured it and 16 oz comes right to the top of the brew basket when it is snapped in. But, I really recommend that you don't put in a full 16 oz because when you have water in the mug and then add the filter basket that has leaf in it, some of the leaf floats to the top of the water and over the edges of the basket. In my first brew I made this mistake and had to pick out tea leaves from around the edge of the mouth. If you leave even a tiny bit of headroom, you won't have this issue.
This shows a full 2t of leaf in the basket, with plenty of room left for expansion.
As you can see below, the leaf needs to be just a little bit further into the water, so I suggest you use something like 15.75 oz. of water.
I really don't recommend this mug for grandpa style drinking (where you leave the leaf in there and keep refilling the water). There is nothing between the top of the brew basket and the sip hole, so you would definitely get leaf in your mouth.
Zero drips. I did a little cha cha with the mug and not a single drop flew out. I always use the same tea when I test infuser bottles, and it tasted the same as always. So I believe I got a good infusion.
Here is the part that impressed me very much. I made tea at 6:30 am and at 195 degrees F - so not even boiling. I didn't drink the tea until noon, and it was still so hot that I had to let it cool a little bit before I could drink it easily. This mug retains heat better than the mug I currently use daily, so I think this might be my new best friend.
Here is the other big surprise. I was drinking from the mug and started thinking that as the tea level decreased and I had to tilt the mug more to drink, surely the top part of the lid would bonk me in the nose. I am happy to report that someone thought of this first, and it does not happen. Even if the mug is turned totally upside down, the lid will not fall shut. There is tension built into the design so that when it is open, it wants to stay open unless you close it.
I don't think you can go wrong with this one unless you are a diehard grandpa style drinker. For every other type this is a great mug. It holds a lot and has exceptional heat retention. Up until this point I have used a Davidstea carry mug and I believe I will replace it with this one.
Disclosure: I received this mug at no cost for review but all views are my own.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook